Sustainable Engineering

March 3, 2009
elevators  will use 30% less energy Basics of FHP motor energy efficiency

Bison Gear & Engineering Corp., whitepaper, tinyurl.com/ap2v2e

Idec Corp., idec.com/usen/

Kone Technology, www.kone.com

Elevators will become superefficient
Kone Technology in Finland says it will release a range of elevators this year that will use 30% less energy than its current models. The company also expects next year to offer elevators that use half as much energy as those of today.

Energy savings come from improvements in the firm’s EcoDisc hoisting machine, in addition to use of regenerative braking (which can recover 25% of the energy the elevator uses) and standby energy-saving technology. LED lighting in the elevator cabins reduces energy consumption as well. Elevators on the drawing board will incorporate more innovative and efficient ways to reduce friction in hoisting, says Kone.

These developments are significant because buildings account for approximately 40% of the world’s energy needs and elevators can account for up to 10% of a building’s energy consumption, says Kone.

Basics of FHP motor energy efficiency
There is a lot of money to be saved in deploying fractional-horsepower electric motors and gearmotors. So says a new white paper called “Improving Gearmotor Efficiency” posted on the Bison Gear & Engineering Corp., St. Charles, Ill., Web site. The brief report offers some practical application ideas that can help both gearmotor-specifying engineers and users.

Operating a 50%-efficient / -hp (93-W) gearmotor in Illinois or California at a 10¢/kW-hr commercial rate would bring an annual cost of $164.25. By comparison, the more energy-efficient alternative at 80% efficiency would only incur $102.20 in operating expense. The white paper can be freely downloaded from Bison Gear’s Web site.

Warehouse lights up with solar
A 162-kW (dc) solar-electric system and new efficient warehouse lighting system recently went live at the U.S. corporate headquarters for control and automation supplier Idec Corp. in Sunnyvale, Calif.

The combined savings from efficient lighting plus the output of a 162-kW REC solar-electric system is expected to reduce the firm’s electricity consumption from the local utility by about 25%. However, dollar savings should be closer to 35% because the solar panels produce most of their energy during summer afternoons when electricity rates are highest.

The lighting retrofit, installed by Lime Energy, involved replacing 400-W metal-halide lights in the warehouse with highoutput fluorescent fixtures with motion sensors.

Edited by Leland Teschler

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